Tuesday, May 2
This conversation is focused on a recently published edited volume, Exactitude: On Precision and Play in Contemporary Architecture, edited by Pari Riahi, Laure Katsaros, and Michael T. Davis (Amherst and Boston: UMass Press, 2022).
While precision has always been integral to architecture, new technologies, codes, and data have increased the demands for accuracy. Yet, the importance of precision, or exactitude, has not received the consideration it merits. This edited volume explores the demands exactitude makes on architecture, with 11 essays investigating the possibilities and shortcomings of exactitude. In bringing history, theory, and practice together, the work explores exactitude, tolerance, and play, through a broad range that covers the span of the 16th century to now, with particular focus on the 20th century. Featuring new work by theorists, historians, editors, and architects, this volume brings theory and practice into insightful and productive conversations. In addition to the editors, contributors include Mark Wigley, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Eric Höweler, Christopher Benfey, Sunil Bald, Ada Tolla, and Giuseppe Lignano with Thomas de Monchaux, Alicia Imperiale, Francesca Hughes, Teresa Stoppani, and Cynthia Davidson.
In this virtual roundtable, we will endeavor to explore how exactitude is understood, absorbed, interpreted, tampered with, even undermined in historic, theoretical, artistic, and practical terms in architecture. This discussion concerns architecture as a creative and productive discipline and questions the use of technology, data, construction norms, and tolerances, in the conception and realization of architectural projects. It situates debates on exactitude in modern architecture, endeavors to show how tolerance and play can affect the development of projects and questions the role of data, and by extension new technologies in the recent past and current landscape of architecture.
Pari Riahi, Editor, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Sunil Bald, Contributor, Associate Dean, Professor, Yale School of Architecture
Francesca Hughes, Contributor, Independent Scholar, Hughes Meyer Studio
Alicia Imperiale, Contributor, Acting Assistant Dean, Adjunct Associate Professor, Pratt Institute
Mark Wigley, Contributor, Professor, Dean Emeritus, GSAPP, Columbia University,
Antoine Picon, Respondent, G. Ware Travelstead Professor, GSD, Harvard University